Goodbye DStv — smart TV and media box price showdown

Buying a smart TV is generally more affordable than purchasing a non-smart TV and combining it with a media box, a MyBroadband comparison found.

For the comparison, we combined TVs without built-in Internet connectivity with three different media boxes — the Xiaomi Mi Box S, Ematic 4K Android TV Box, and Apple TV.

These streaming boxes can be used to watch content from streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Showmax.

We matched the resolutions of the two different TV types to get as close to a like-for-like comparison as possible.

It should be noted that media boxes can offer additional features and improved performance compared to smart TVs.

For example, Apple TVs boxes are good choices for users already invested in the Apple ecosystem, as it allows seamless interaction between all their devices and their TV.

However, you need a compatible TV to fully exploit the HDR and 4K streaming capabilities of some media boxes.

Considering most TVs supporting these features are smart TVs, it often doesn’t make sense to buy a media box unless you prefer the operating system it uses.

Our comparison showed smart TVs are generally cheaper than their unconnected counterparts augmented with a media box, across screen sizes from 32 to 50 inches.

TCL’s 32-inch smart TV is R3,019, while the Supersonic SLM-322D with a Mi Box or Ematic combines totals R3,787.

Consumers opting for Apple TV on the Supersonic’s non-smart 32-inch TV will pay R5,553.

Hisense’s 40-inch A4G smart TV is R4,599 — R798 cheaper than the Hisense 5200F paired with the Android TV boxes, and R2,564 cheaper than with an Apple TV HD.

The 43-inch A4G is slightly cheaper than Sinotec’s 43-inch TV with an Android media box, at R4,999 versus R5,268.

When it comes to 4K-capable TVs, consumers opting for an Apple TV 4K are hit the hardest.

The Maxdorf MD-50DUD is R10,398 with Apple TV 4K, while TCL’s 50-inch smart TV costs R5,999.

When combining the Maxdorf with a Xiaomi Mi Box S or an Ematic TV Box, the price is somewhat lower at R7,698.

The table below compares the prices of smart TVs and TVs with media boxes across four screen sizes.

Screen size Smart TV Price TV with media box Price
32-inch TCL 32S5200 R2,999 Supersonic SLM-322D + Xiaomi Mi Box S / Ematic 4K R3,787
Supersonic SLM-322D + Apple TV HD 32 GB R5,553
40-inch Hisense A4G R4,698 Hisense 5200F + Xiaomi Mi Box S / Ematic 4K R5,488
Hisense 5200F + Apple TV HD 32 GB R7,263
43-inch Hisense A4G R4,999 Sinotec STL-43WG6D + Xiaomi Mi Box S / Ematic 4K R5,268
Sinotec STL-43WG6D + Apple TV HD 32 GB R7,034
50-inch TCL 50P615 R5,999 Maxdorf MD-50DUD + Xiaomi Mi Box S / Ematic 4K R7,698
Maxdorf MD-50DUD + Apple TV 4K 64 GB R10,398

Now read: DStv subscribers becoming less valuable

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Goodbye DStv — smart TV and media box price showdown